An other day in paradise started… We woke up in our brand “new” accommodation in Klong Prao with back pain and very few sleep…. Thanks to the amazing philharmonic orchestra of frogs, geckos and other non identified animals :D. Luckily, an important phone call uplifted our morning mood. One of our key informants called us for a meeting with the public administrator of the subdistrict of Salak Phet (SAO government office) at 1pm. Excited about this appointment, we rushed into eating breakfast; no time for a real “break”, only time to be “fast”… Unfortunatelly, we had to wait for the taxi more than 30min… Sabai sabai! When he finally came to pick us up, we started a new adventure… Where to find as fast as possible a place which was open, with people available to print our documents needed for the meeting!? We were running out of time… It was already 12h30pm and we were still in Klong Prao! During this time Marcia was trying to explain to the taxi driver where exactly we needed to be for the meeting while Carole was still struggling with finding a printer…
Finally, we arrived in Salak Phet at the subdistrict office and people immediately welcomed us with enthusiasm. After exchanging few “breaking the ice” words in Thai, we were ready for a serious talk…Still unaware that further challenges were yet to overcome.
In the first place, communication was slow and ineffective because of the language barriers (of both sides 😉 ). Afterward, the administrator suggested the use of google translator on his laptop and smartphone. A meaningful discussion then flourished which allowed us to gain insights into the key activities and positions of the subdistrict office regarding the tourism sector. After 1 and half hour, we had the feeling that we had enough information and it was time to move on. Luckily again, our key informant (which was also present at the meeting) called the Koh Chang Municipality Office and managed to arrange an appointment with the 2 assistants of the district Mayor of Koh Chang later in the afternoon.
On the road again… Our taxi driver was unbelievably patient and incredibly “benevolent”. After a quick bite in a local street restaurant (30 Bhats for a big soup!), he drove us to our second destination. The pressure was increasing… Now, we were heading to one of the highest government representative in Koh Chang. After 10 min of interview with the 2 assistants and one improvised translator from the office, we realized that we were maybe not prepared enough as we did not expect this interview to take place on this day. However, we took the chance and decided to go with the flow… Besides, they did not seem so comfortable and they were not willing to share much with us. Nevertheless, we were able to gather some important pieces of information valuable for our research.
What an exhausting day! We finally came back to our “beautiful” accommodation, really happy and grateful for this productive day… Then it was time to relax on the beach with a well deserved fresh Chang beer… (Or more 😉 )